Isopod Behavior Lab Report

Topics: Organism, Chemistry, Woodlouse Pages: 9 (1710 words) Published: November 14, 2007
Stephen Pidliskey


P1 Park


Background Information:

In our lab we were working with isopods, also known as pill bugs or rollie pollies. The isopods that we worked with were land isopods. They like to live in moist places under untouched objects such as boards, bricks, rotting logs and or rocks. Basically, they will live anywhere! If you are lucky enough, you can even find them next to buildings where it is moist and if there is food. All living organisms like certain things and don't like certain things, for example; most animals will try to eat something sugary or sweet, like a piece of candy. While the same animal my not wanting to eat something that is not sugary or sweet like peas.

Every organism acts different, especially when a stimulus is affecting them. While other times the organism can do something for no reason, well at least to our knowledge. Relationships also can be a factor on how organisms act, most likely being aggressive or submissive. For example, male crocodiles will fight each other for a mate; this is showing their aggressive side. After one of the crocs has won the fight, the female croc will be submissive towards him to show dominance. This shows how they can act because of a relationship. Another example is people and the weather, which is a stimulus. People who like mild to hot temperatures will most likely go outside to do things. While people who don't like the cold temperatures will do things inside, just so they don't go outside. This shows how a stimulus can affect an organism's behavior and what they do.


For my hypothesis I wrote, "If the pill bugs are in the petri dish with the other chemicals then they will go to the filter paper where the sugar is more so then the other filter paper that has chemicals on it". I choose this hypothesis for many reasons. First off, I know that most organisms, bugs, insects, etc… like sweet and sugary tasting things. I know this because I always see ants in my kitchen trying to get to the sugar rather then anything else. I know the pill bugs will not like the vinegar because most bugs will not go for vinegar. This goes the same with salt. I also thought about the water, this would be my second choice for my hypothesis. As I was writing my hypothesis, I also tried to tie it to me as well. I personally favor sugar over the others, next would be water, then salt, and last but not least vinegar. Using my personal taste, I was better able to make my decision on my hypothesis.


4 Pill Bugs

Petri Dish

2 Pieces of Filter Paper

Pen or pencil




Salt Solution

Sugar Solution


Notebook (eg. Data-table)


Something sturdy to cover the Petri dish




Procedure 1: 1 petri dish was placed on top of table. A dry piece of filter paper was centered into petri dish. Four pill bugs were placed into the petri dish; the petri dish was covered with an index card then a stack of post-it notes was placed on top of the index cards. The pill bug's behavior was observed for 5 minutes, data was gathered and written on the paper. No human influence had any affect on the pill bugs behavior. Procedure 2: One piece of circular filter paper was taken and cut into 4 equal sections. The 4 sections of filter paper were then assigned and labeled with a letter from A - D. The chemicals were collected, which were water, salt solution, sugar solution and vinegar. Using a dropper, 5 - 10 drops of each solution were placed on a separate piece of filter paper. Then the filter paper with the solutions on it was placed in the petri dish, 4 pill bugs were then added into the petri dish. The pill bugs behavior was observed and recorded over the course of 5 minutes by recording how many pill bugs would go on each piece of filter paper in 30-second intervals. After that the pill bugs were returned to their home, the filter paper...
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